Spring is here!
I don't usually mind winter, but this year I was desperate for warmer weather, lush greenery, blossoms, and a closer sun! I especially love spring because it reminds me of being in the last weeks of my pregnancy with my first son, Justice. (He's turning TWELVE this year!)
Some of the memories I hold most dear are from that special time in my life as a single mother, not yet 20 years old. I remember my great big belly, and how it felt so good to have the windows open, inviting in the warm-ish breeze, taking time to be at peace and alone, listening and singing along to records on my record player, reading all the books I started to collect to the little person growing inside of me, and taking in the gorgeous glow of his yellow nursery. (I didn't know that he was a boy until he was born!)
Spring is, of course, a time for renewal. It's an optimistic season, filled with possibility and excitement. There's a lot on my calendar in the next few weeks, and I am looking forward to all that's to come.
That's not to say this past winter wasn't filled with good things, because it absolutely was! I enjoyed two extra-special dates with my husband, long walks with my boys, cooked delicious meals, discovered new places, and filled my days with things that bring me pleasure. These are a few of those things.
Last fall floral extraordinaire, Marissa, of Studio Posy, opened a new shop in the Ghent area of Norfolk with her partner Anna, of Lorak Jewelry, called SAMLA. It's full of gorgeous treasures thoughtfully curated from near and far. Quirky terrariums, beautifully crafted jewelry, and even hard to find publications, such as Monster Children can all be found in their sweet little store. SAMLA also carries a fabulous selection of Rifle paper goods, which I have definitely taken full advantage of. If you find yourself in Norfolk, please help support small businesses and check out SAMLA! PS: Lorak has a line of fine & bridal jewelry which is STUNNING.
COLE HAAN ZEROGRAND WING OXFORD
Since becoming a wedding photographer, I have also become a connoisseur of beautiful, quality shoes. Just one 14 hour wedding day with crap shoes will make you one, too. I've found that my Birkenstocks are wonderful for summer and early fall weddings, but they aren't so great for cooler weather events. Last October, I worked alongside a photographer who showed me her Cole Haan Oxfords, and since, they've been on my mind. When I got home I looked them up and found numerous reviews from photographers who sing their praises, which pretty much sealed the deal for me to purchase these babies. There is a large selection of colors and textures-- from pastels to metallics, patents to woven varieties, and I am obsessed. I can't wait to test them out at our first wedding of the year at the Inn at Warner Hall in just a few weeks.
If you are a member of my family, you officially hate me. And these songs. (Not even lying, I have literally brought my son to tears from my incessant replays...) These two singles--Sir Guy & The Rocking Cavaliers' Funky Virginia & Stevie Wonder's All I Do-- make me happy. They make me smile. They make me groove. These two songs are just my JAMS. Surely you too have songs like this? They just get under your skin and make you dance even if you don't feel like it. Find these songs, download them, and shake your booty. You won't be able to stop yourself.
THE LIVELY SHOW
Since February 1 I have been on a soul-searching mission. I wasn't planning on it, it just sort of happened. I have resolved to be more grateful, to treat myself with kindness and care, and to say YES to things which bring me pleasure and joy. To be honest, I've probably been pretty annoying at times to others. (Or may have sounded a bit "Woo Woo"; love that term). It's working, though! I do feel happier, more optimistic, and more resilient since taking that personal vow.
The Lively Show is such a positive, upbeat podcast, that it makes it a bit hard not to feel inspired to live more intentionally. (At least this was the case for me!) I also love that Jess does a "Favorites" podcast each month, and is how I found one of my favorites this month--Smith & Cult nail polish! One major take-away from listening regularly to The Lively Show, and a reason I love this podcast so much, is that there's so much focus on becoming the best YOU possible.
For quite some time, I've neglected to make time for myself. "Self Care" hasn't been in my vocabulary. If I'm being really, truly honest, I've allowed myself to become a bit of a ghost of who I once was. It's hard to admit that, but it's true. In the last few weeks I've really come face to face with the fact that I've made choices which aren't healthy for my mind, body, or spirit, for quite a while. I've promised myself to improve on those things, and I'd be totally lying if I said certain episodes didn't propel me further in my commitments to myself.
If you're looking for an uplifting podcast, The Lively Show is exactly where you'll find it. Some of my most recent favorite episodes have been:
OK. So, "girly" is most likely never going to be an adjective that describes me. I don't really do dresses, lace, pearls... They're just not my thing. Motorcycle jackets, beanies and combat boots are what you'll find in my closet. But when it comes to makeup, I definitely love all the pinks, especially this spring!
From listening to The Lively Show I discovered Smith & Cult nail varnish. I love this gorgeous shade (FAUNTLEROY) AND the fact that their "exclusive 5-free" formula is free of all the yucky chemicals run-of-the-mill varnishes offer up.
Equally as gorgeous are the new Dolce & Gabbana Matte Lipstick In Rose for spring! There are so many different shades of pinks, and each one is more beautiful than the last. I'm officially swooning for the 'Rosa' & 'Mamma' shades. You simply can't find anything more feminine or "spring" than these colors.
What are you loving this spring?